lapse

2010–19 | HD Video | 71'00"

​lapse started with a month long destination-less winter journey on the European train network. The Artist ended up circling Europe a couple of times and reaching as far as Istanbul in the East a and Sundsvall in the north of Sweden.  For the duration, she used the train as her home and conversed with others when the opportunity presented itself. The film tells a part fictional story about this journey narrated by the woman traveller through intertitles and recorded fragments from conversations and through an online generated male narrator. This film is shot entirely on handheld camera by the artist.

 


In December 2010, almost 10 years to the day from travelling for Sleeping Germany, I took a flight to Munich and, while there, I bought a month-long European travel pass. For the next four weeks, I travelled without a plan or a particular destination in mind. My journey encompassed most countries of the European Union, as well as Turkey. In returning to the structure of train travel I first undertaken in 2000 in Sleeping Germany, I traced how we, both the world and me, had moved on.


Several years later I began editing a film out of the footage and notes I brought back from the journey. lapse opens with two dreams about flying conveyed in intertitles over footage of the view from the train window. The narrative unfolds through a series of vignettes of encounters, conversations, overheard conversations, footage out of the window and stories. The narration is by a male narrator, whose voice is created with online voice-generating software. He provides the commentary on and interpretation of events, telling the viewers about the protagonist’s actions, thoughts and emotions.


‘His’ voice is created to address the gap formed by the time that passed between travelling and editing the work. Reading the material from across several years, the emotional struggles recorded in my writing during this trip now appeared almost comical to me. The film uses ‘His’ voice, with the weight of his fabricated masculine authority, to comment on the unfolding of the journey and my actions, thus mitigating both the viewer’s need for reliability and reason and the apparent aimless absurdity of my conduct.


The camera’s apparatus in lapse has no ‘privileges’ and is therefore subordinated to the necessities of travel and encounters. At times, it appears as if the camera does not ‘concentrate’, as it is shooting alongside the unfolding of events. Shooting in real time, it never ‘knows’ what ‘the story’ is. And yet, this is the only version available. Its limited position is the only one given. There are no other perspectival views. The camera’s position, often just dangled from my shoulder, or left running on a table, amounts to a limited, unmounted piece of apparatus. The grasping camera, like a child caught within the events but allowed no authority, and chance are a crucial part of the endeavour.